What are the aims of this harassment policy?
* To help all attendees and staff feel welcome, valued, and as safe as possible.
* To define and discourage harassing, abusive behaviour.
* To make it as safe and simple as possible for people to report harassment, if necessary.
* To clearly establish for staff and attendees how reports of harassment will be handled.
* To set fair consequences for such behaviour.
Why does FantasyCon need an anti-harassment policy?
We’ve implemented an anti-harassment policy in response to widespread reports of harassment at conventions and in order to meet our goal of providing a safe and comfortable convention experience for everyone.
FantasyCon is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, ability, physical appearance, body size, actual or perceived race, national origin, family or marital status, socioeconomic class or religion. In order to offer a welcoming and safe space for everyone, we require participants to be respectful of all others and their space, be it physical or social.
What is harassment?
* Offensive verbal comments about gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race or religion
* Racist behaviour, including:
* attendees being expected to be an authority on corresponding characters in various genre and media settings;
* and/or being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed because of ethnic origin
* Showing sexual images in public spaces. Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is permitted if it meets all of the following criteria:
* organisers have specifically granted permission in writing;
* it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists;
* it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIA people; and attendees are warned in advance in the programme and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand.
* This exception does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices (such as clothing or costumes in the dealers’ room) or unnecessary presentation or panel examples.
* intimidation, stalking or following
* photographing or recording someone without their permission
* sustained disruption of talks or other events
* uninvited physical contact
* uninvited sexual attention
Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. This includes not only anyone involved in the incident, but any onlookers contributing to the disruption.
What are some examples?
As a general rule, practicing common sense in physical and social interactions with strangers will ensure everyone has a comfortable convention experience. Here are some guidelines for types of behaviour that may make others uncomfortable or be considered harassment.
* Physically touching or endangering other people without an express invitation is never acceptable.
* Touching other people’s personal effects without an express invitation. This includes clothing, assistive devices, bags, and on-duty service animals. If physical contact is wished, do so verbally or with a friendly gesture. Holding a hand out for a handshake is good example.
* Sharing space with other people requires active demonstrations of respect and empathy. Good examples can be: leaving other people a clear path to an exit, moderating the volume of your voice, limiting the expansiveness of your gestures as well as maintaining an appropriate physical distance.
* Please respect the desires of a person or persons who have expressed their wish for no further contact. Do not contact them, either by your own agency or through an intermediary.
* FantasyCon welcomes vigorous debate, but do not verbally attack people.
* Be aware of consent to continue interaction with another person, observing non-verbal and verbal clues. Pay attention if the other party wishes to end the interaction. If there is any question if the other party wants to end the interaction, end the interaction yourself.
* When in doubt, don’t make assumption: ask.
Who can report a problem?
Anyone who was directly affected by or witnessed harassment can file a report, and is encouraged to do so.
What should I do if I am being harassed?
In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if a volunteer was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.
If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please contact a convention volunteer immediately. The volunteers will help participants contact venue security or law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during the con. The first convention volunteer or organiser you report to will take whatever steps they can to assist you in feeling safe, and will put you in contact with or bring you to an appropriate senior staff member. We value your attendance.
You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to take a formal report. If you wish to report, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that assists you in feeling safe and maintains the
safety of the wider convention environment, as well as enforcing our anti-harassment policy. If you report a serious criminal matter, please be aware that we may be obliged to contact the police. We would however take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.
If you would like to discuss the harassment without making a report, we will help you meet with the designated on-call senior staff member. Please bear in mind that this is for informal emotional support only: our volunteers don’t have counselling training, and we can’t promise confidentiality. You can access this service by contacting any convention volunteer.
What sort of problem can I report?
Any behaviour or pattern of behaviour that you feel comes under the definition of harassment. If you feel someone’s behaviour is dangerous or harmful to you or others, if someone’s behaviour makes you feel afraid or very uncomfortable, or if someone is actively making it difficult for you or others to enjoy or fully participate in the convention, we would like to know about it.
Who can I make a report about?
Anyone whose behaviour causes you concern. We will give all reports equal consideration. Our handling of reports will not be influenced by factors such as the social status or convention role of anyone involved in the situation.
When can I report a problem?
At any time; however, we request that reporting take place as soon as possible during or after an incident, especially if you believe that someone may be causing problems for multiple people at the convention. Reports will be taken seriously and handled appropriately regardless of when they are made.
How do I find a convention volunteer?
Our convention volunteers are called Red Shirts, and can be easily identified by their red T-Shirts. Any one of them can be your first point of contact. The volunteer may need to involve a more senior staff member to assist with your issue.
What actions can convention staff take to a harassment incident?
Senior staff reserve the right to take any action they deem appropriate, including:
* issuing the offender with a warning if, in the determination of senior staff and/or the person reporting the incident, the incident is considered accidental or minor;
* making an internal note of the incident to document repeat offending;
* making a formal report of the incident available to volunteers, senior staff or all convention participants at the discretion of senior staff;
* contacting hotel security;
* contacting law enforcement;
* removing the offender from the convention with no refund; and
* reporting the offender’s behaviour to other convention or regulatory organisations.
If you email a report in after the convention
The Chair of the BFS will receive your report. They will explain in detail what the possible outcomes are and what will be asked of you, read your report, and interview other people (witnesses, the person the report is about) as necessary. The Chair will determine whether any action needs to be taken. You will be informed of any action that FanstasyCon takes in connection with your report.
FantasyCon representatives will follow this policy and the internal procedures of the hotel/venue with the safety of all the convention’s attendees in mind, which may require us to take certain actions without the consent of the person making the report. We will do our very best to balance the needs of all involved parties and the needs of the convention when they conflict.
What won’t happen if I make a report?
We will not reveal your identity or the substance of your report unless it is absolutely necessary to obtain information about the incident or take action related to the incident.
We will not take any sort of retaliatory action against you for reporting or not reporting a problem.
We will not provide mediation or intermediary communication services.
While we will always err on the side of safety and treating all reports as true, we will not assume that a report being made automatically means that action needs to be taken.
What will happen if someone says I caused a problem?
If someone tells us that you have violated the code of conduct, two convention representatives will ask to speak with you about it in a private place.
If you decline to be interviewed, we may ask you to leave the convention. If, after speaking with you, we believe that you have acted in a manner deemed as harassment then we may ask you to change your behaviour or leave the convention, or take other actions.
We will not take action until we’ve spoken with you and anyone else involved and done our best to get a clear picture of what happened.
If we believe that no violation occurred, you are welcome to go about the convention as usual. We will not attempt to mediate or carry messages between you and the person who made the report. If someone deliberately makes a false report about you, that is itself harassment and we will take appropriate action in response.
How can I help make FantasyCon safer?
* Be aware of this harassment policy, of using non-oppressive language, and of boundaries.
* Back up others – if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they’re okay.